Dec. 5, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB baseball signed six talented student-athletes, featuring two pitchers and four position players, to compete for the Blazers in 2014.
Head coach Brian Shoop, entering his seventh season at the helm of the Blazer baseball program, is coming off a 2012 season in which UAB captured its first-ever Conference USA Tournament Championship title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991. Shoop is excited about what this signing class can bring to UAB both on and off the field.
"Now that the fall signing period has come to a close, we couldn’t be happier with the six young men who have decided to join our Blazer baseball family," Shoop said. "On paper, this is one of the best, if not the best fall signing class we have had at UAB and we are very excited about our program’s future. Adding this group to a very strong returning nucleolus provides us with great excitement for the 2014 season and beyond. All of these young men are high character who will give great efforts in the class room, in the weight room and on the field.
"A lot of work goes into each signing class and I would like to thank Coach Roth and Coach Hopper for their countless hours of work in putting together this outstanding group of players, students and young men."
2014 Signing Class
Tim Anderson, INF, East Central CC (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
• Went a perfect 30-for-30 on stolen base attempts last season at East Central CC.
• Rated the No. 2 prospect in the Jayhawk League by Baseball America and Perfect Game.
• Hit .352 with eight homers, 14 doubles, 39 runs and was 32-for-39 on stolen bases for the Dodge City Athletics (JL).
Venn Biter, OF, Rossview HS (Clarksville, Tenn.)
• Hit .333 with 33 RBI, 49 total bases, 27 runs scored and three triples last season at Rossview HS.
• Named 10 AAA All-District Team honors and helped lead his team to back-to-back District and Tournament Championships.
Andrew Dennis, C, Wallace State Hanceville CC (Huntsville, Ala.)
• Hit .368 and drove in 24 runs helping lead Wallace State Hanceville CC to a runner-up finish in the junior college state tournament.
• In his senior year at Huntsville HS, clubbed a school record 18 homers, knocked in 45 and posted a .364 batting clip.
Thomas Lowery, LHP, Pelham HS (Pelham, Ala.)
• Compiled an 8-1 record and posted a Pelham HS record 0.83 ERA last season as a junior.
• Fired four shutouts and 93 total strikeouts en route to earning Birmingham Metro and Shelby County Pitcher of the Year accolades.
Ronnie Smith, RHP, Western HS (West Middleton, Ind.)
• Went 10-4 with a 1.83 ERA as a junior last year at Western HS.
• Won four Western's seven playoff games in 2012 on the way to capturing the Class 3A State Championship last spring.
"In this class we feel as if we met every need that we had going into this recruiting cycle," Shoop said. "We needed to sign two catchers. Andrew Dennis is in our opinion the best junior college catcher in Alabama and Holt Davis is a talented young man with a tremendous upside who can play multiple positions. We add two pitchers who will make an already talented staff even better. Ronnie Smith will be a power right hand pitcher and Thomas Lowery will be a left handed bulldog on the mound. Both should contribute early in their career.
"We needed to add one outfielder and Venn Biter was the exact combination of power from the left side and speed on the bases that we were looking for. Lastly we needed to add one infielder and Tim Anderson will be one of the best athletes ever to play at UAB. He was the number 2 pro prospect in the Jayhawk League last summer because of his rare combination of speed and hitting ability. Tim could lead the country in stolen bases and hit in the middle of the order."